Monday, 30 July 2012

NBC, The Olympics and the way brands can easily lose control on Social Media.

One of the real issues around Social, is the loss of control you have for your brand. When you get it wrong, you have critics everywhere and even anonymously, who will spread that criticism far and wide and quickly. It can destroy you overnight.

You have to be real careful.

I was also looking at YouTube and note the amount of brands that keep their comments open. In other words by letting anyone comment on their channel. Abercrombie + Fitch do that.....and more of that later. Equally Irish national brands are leaving themselves open to libel.

But firstly NBC, one of America's largest broadcaster who made the news recently when they divorced from Microsofts online joint venture MSNBC;postID=3087600761229729716

What's happened to NBC to begin a tirade against them was the Olympics Opening ceremony. They seemingly promised to stream it live and didn't. Secondly they did stream USA swimmer Ryan Lochte but on a delay...however people thought they were seeing it live (it's more expensive to show programming live). So you're watching the man swim live (you think) and then you start getting the result texted to you?

That race also featured US legend Michael Phelps (coming in fourth) but witholding it from live broadcasting because they felt they could make more ad money by showing it later, is unforgiveable.

They didn't show Kobe and the USA dream team basketball opener beating France (but way too close of a game I thought?) - instead opting to show Women's cycling.

One reason, apart from just poor planning, is that by carrying key sporting moments at prime times rather than "live", they generate more media advertising. Old media rules not suited to a new world.

The coverage on their website + Apps has no commentary either which for most of us, without a clue who's good in the 100 metres or the Dressage, is fairly useless. If ever commentary was needed, it's at The Olympics.

The hashtag that has been set up is (hash)nbcfail.

NBC Producers are going onto the hashtag to answer the critics but frankly fruitlessly. Piers Morgan, UK "Larry King" chat show host, was one of the Twitter critics, complaining about not being able to see the opening ceremony.

Promises unkept is the problem and that does not go down well on Social Media.

Without a doubt, only three days in and NBC has already lost its Olympic audience. As well as breeding a new groundswell of critics. YouTube is also fundamentally that platform too - if you allow comments.

This is the infamous 10 million Abercrombie + Fitch "Call me maybe" video (yeah, I know and no I'm not). If you look into the recent comments, they're pretty worrying - definitely sexist, probably racist and certainly homophobic. Abercrombie + Fitch is taking a chance here on their channel on YouTube allowing unmoderated comments.

Critics will use Social media freely and my great friends at Irish broadcasting, should watch their YouTube channel. All you need is one little bit of libel and it could prove expensive.

Social Media means you can lose control of your brand and endanger it long term.

NBC are learning that in what should have been their flagship week.

(Update Today- Techcrunch, the influential blog, have started a campaign to ask people not to watch The Olympics on NBC. . It gets out of hand so easily...)

(And a better hetreosexual version of call me maybe that started the whole thing. Well, you know, just for balance.

Or The Miami Dolphin's going on and on and on....)